India’s exports of agricultural and allied commodities during the first 11 months of the 2020-21 financial year (April 2020 – Feb 2021) stood at Rs2.74 lakh crore against Rs2.31 crore in the same period last year, indicating an increase of 18.49 per cent.
India has consistently maintained trade surplus in the agricultural products over the years. The country exported agricultural and allied products valued at Rs2.52 crore during fiscal 2019-20 while it imported commodities valued at Rs1.47 lakh crore. Even, during the pandemic times India took care not to disturb the world food supply chain and continued to export.
The commodities which posted significant growth in exports were wheat, other cereals, rice (other than Basmati), soya meal, spices, sugar, raw cotton, fresh vegetable, processed vegetables, and alcoholic beverages.
Export of wheat and other cereals recorded tremendous growth over last year, increasing from Rs425 crore to Rs3,283 crore and Rs1,318 crore to Rs4,542 crore, respectively. On specific demand from countries, NAFED exported 50,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan and 40,000 tonnes of wheat to Lebanon under G2G arrangement. India has witnessed tremendous growth of 727 per cent in wheat exports.
Export f non-Basmati rice from the country witnessed significant growth of 132 per cent – increasing from Rs13,030 crore in 2019-20 to Rs30,277 crore in 2020-21. This increase in exports is on account of multiple factors, more particularly with the opening up of new markets like, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico. Exports were also made to Togo, Senegal, Malaysia, Madagascar, Iraq, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Vietnam, Tanzania and Madagascar.
India also enhanced export of soya meals by 132 per cent to Rs7,224 crore in 2020-21 from Rs3,087 crore in 2019-20.
Other commodities in the agri and allied basket showing significant increase in export during April 2020-February 2021 included spices (Rs26,257 crore vs Rs23,562 crore - growth of 11.44 per cent); sugar (Rs17,072 crore vs Rs12,226 crore - growth of 39.64 per cent), raw cotton (Rs11,373 crore vs Rs6,771 crore - growth of 67.96 per cent), fresh vegetables (Rs4,780 crore vs Rs4,067 crore - growth of 17.54 per cent) and processed vegetables (Rs2,846 crore vs Rs1,994 crore - growth of 42.69 per cent) etc.
Imports of agri and allied commodities during April 2020 – February 2021 stood at Rs141,034.25 crore against Rs137,014.39 crore in the same period last year showing a slight increase of 2.93 per cent.
Despite Covid-19, balance of trade in agriculture has favorably increased during April 2020 – February 2021 to Rs132,579.69 crore against Rs93,907.76 crore during the same period in 2019-20.